Bill Summary for H 986 (2017-2018)

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Summary date: 

Jun 13 2018

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 986 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Intro. by Hurley, Elmore, Horn, Johnson.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to 2nd edition. Changes title to AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO EDUCATION LAWS. Changes short title to "Various Changes to Education Laws." 

Adds the following provisions.

Amends GS 115C-269.50, requiring Educator Preparation Program (EPP) report cards to be created annually. Requires the EPP to provide user-friendly accessibility to the public, including the ability to easily compare EPPs. Removes requirement that the State Board of Education provide information from each EPP's annual performance report to the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. 

Directs the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to study and make recommendations on ways to reduce testing not otherwise required by State or federal law in kindergarten through 12th grade. Requires the Superintendent to report on this to the specified legislative entities by January 15, 2019. 

Directs the Department of Public Instruction, under the direction of the State Superintendent and in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, to develop standards for a mental health training program that includes youth mental health, suicide prevention, substance use, and sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention. Requires these offices to develop an evidence-based model mental health training program. Requires these offices to develop minimum requirements and a model for a suicide risk referral protocol. Requires the State Superintendent to report on all of the above to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee by October 15, 2018. Directs the State Board of Education to repeal its school-based mental health initiative policy. 

Allows a local board of education of a local school administrative unit that has the greatest percentage of restart model schools in the State, received low-wealth supplemental funding for the 2017-18 fiscal year, and has more than average daily membership of 10,000 students for the 2017-18 school year to submit a renewal school system plan to the State Board to permit the board of education to decide all matters related to the operation of the schools under its control, including use of State funds, curriculum, and operating procedures. The purpose of this will be to design a comprehensive and innovative strategic vision for sustainable school improvement by tailoring instruction to the needs of the students. Requires the State Board to approve plans by July 15, 2018, to begin operation in the 2018-19 school year. Requires plans to include a description of how the plan will meet its goals. Requires State Board to approve plans by August 2, 2018. Allows the local board of education with such a plan to be exempt from rules applicable to other local school administrative units for the purpose of operating its schools. Sets out the various provisions of GS Chapter 115C that will still govern such school boards. Requires such schools to provide instruction for at least 185 days or 1,025 hours over nine calendar months. Requires these schools to meet student performance standards adopted by the State Board. 

Directs the State Board to identify low-performing schools operating under such a plan annually. Defines low-performing schools as having a performance grade of D or lower and a school growth score of meeting or not meeting expected growth. Also requires the State Board to identify continually low-performing schools in the local school administrative unit annually, with a continually low-performing school defined as a school that has been designated by the State Board as low-performing for at least two of three consecutive years. Requires local boards of education to provide transportation to students. Encourages school administrative units to adopt a policy against bullying. Requires the administrative units under the plan to comply with reporting requirements established by the State Board at least annually. Requires compliance with driver eligibility certificate rules. Requires employment of staff to run schools under a plan beginning August 2, 2018. Requires at least half of teachers to hold teacher licenses. Requires core area teachers to hold college degrees. 

Directs the Department of Public Instruction to calculate the amount of State funds to be allocated to schools under such a plan on the same basis as other schools. Allows the State Board to require such schools to make financial reports. Allows participation in the retirement system for such schools. Requires the State Board to review schools under such a plan at the end of the 2022-23 school year and at least every three years thereafter. Allows the State Board to terminate the plan if the school failed to meet requirements for student performance, or the majority of schools in the local school administrative unit have been identified as low-performing schools in the prior two years. Allows the State Board to terminate prior to 2022 if it finds that the school administrative unit did not meet fiscal management standards or violated State or federal law. Allows the State Superintendent to recommend termination based on the annual reports, and requires the State Board to terminate if such a recommendation is made. Requires the State Board to develop a transition plan for the local board if the plan is terminated. Requires the local school administrative unit operating under a plan to report to the State Superintendent annually on the assessment instruments used and the student outcomes based on these assessments, staff vacancies, and student attendance.